The red spider mite, Oligonychus coffeae (Acari: Tetranychidae): its status, biology, ecology and management in tea plantations

Abstract

Oligonychus coffeae Nietner (Acari: Tetranychidae), the red spider mite (RSM), is a major pest of tea (Camellia sinensis) in most tea-producing countries. Nymphs and adults of RSM lacerate cells, producing minute characteristic reddish brown marks on the upper surface of mature leaves, which turn red in severe cases of infestation, resulting in crop loss. The pest is present on tea all the year round, although numbers vary depending on season. Their number increases as the weather warms up and decreases markedly once rains set in. Under optimal conditions there may be 22 overlapping generations in a year. Parthenogenesis is known to occur; consequently, all mite stages can be found at a given time. Their infestation is mainly confined to the upper surface of the mature leaves and could readily be identified by the bronzing of the leaf. There are several naturally occurring insect predators, such as coccinellid and staphylinid larvae, lacewing larvae, and mite predators, most importantly species of the families Phytoseiidae and Stigmaeidae. Integrated management has been adopted to control this mite pest, involving cultural, mechanical, physical, biological and chemical methods. This review collates the most important works carried out on biology, ecology and management of O. coffeae. Also the scope of future studies for better management of this regular mite pest of tea is discussed.

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Acknowledgments

Authors are indebted to Mr. Arup Jyoti Borah, Tocklai Tea Research Institute for his secretarial help for preparation of the manuscripts.

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Roy, S., Muraleedharan, N. & Mukhopadhyay, A. The red spider mite, Oligonychus coffeae (Acari: Tetranychidae): its status, biology, ecology and management in tea plantations. Exp Appl Acarol 63, 431–463 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10493-014-9800-4

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Keywords

  • Acaricides
  • Camellia sinensis
  • IPM
  • Mite
  • Natural enemies
  • Oligonychus coffeae